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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-01-24

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>


CONTENTS

  • [01] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [02] Britain favours return to peace process
  • [03] US not keen to provide security guarantees
  • [04] Cyprus-Greece sign Public Administration protocol
  • [05] Britain's Labour argues for direct talks, rotating presidency

  • 1515:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Jan 24 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
    CSE All Share Index                    77.96 (+0.17)
    
    Sectural Indices
    
    Banks                                  87.58 (-0.17)
    Approved Investment Companies          69.41 (+0.55)
    Insurance Companies                    55.95 (+0.20)
    Industrial Companies                   76.91 (+1.32)
    Tourist Industries                     68.68 (+1.28)
    Commercial Companies                   54.98 (-0.43)
    Other Companies                        62.35 (+0.50)
    
    Trading Volume                         CYP 472421.102
    
    * The difference in brackets represents the percentage increase (+) or decrease (-) of the index from the previous stock exchange meeting.
    CNA MM/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1540:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] Britain favours return to peace process

    Nicosia, Jan 24 (CNA) -- Britain believes the Cyprus government is entitled to discuss matters relating to security guarantees with anyone it wishes, including the US, British High Commissioner to Cyprus, David Madden, said here today.

    He also underlined the need to refocus attention to the peace negotiating process to help find a lasting settlement in Cyprus.

    ''Security is one of the key aspects of the Cyprus problem. We believe in providing security for all as that is the way forward,'' Madden said after a meeting with President Glafcos Clerides.

    This, he said, is a problem which has to be resolved in the context of an overall comprehensive deal.

    Asked to comment on the idea of the US providing security guarantees for Cyprus, Madden said he cannot see any problem.

    Noting that Britain remains one of the guarantor powers (the other being Greece and Turkey), Madden said the Cyprus government ''is free to discuss security with anyone else'' and added that the feeling of insecurity in both communities on the island has to be tackled.

    Asked if he thought the government might be willing to discuss further a US-backed proposal for a moratorium on overflights in Cyprus, Madden replied ''We know what has been said so far on the moratorium. It is a subject which I would have thought remains on the agenda and maybe proceeded at some point. We hope it will be proceeded with at some point.''

    The High Commissioner said he came to see the President to be ''fully informed'' ahead of his meetings next week at the Foreign Office.

    Asked if Britain was doing anything to convince Turkey not to send three warships to Cyprus' occupied part, Madden said the matter, no doubt, was being discussed in Ankara and added ''We have taken the view that the various moves, including the joint declaration, were not helpful in the current circumstances.''

    Madden described the declaration between Turkish President Suleyman Demirel and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, as unhelpful and expressed hope that next week's visit to Cyprus by a top UN envoy will assist the process of refocusing on the real issues.

    He said efforts are being made ''to shift the focus from military activity back to the negotiating process and the hope of making real progress in the course of 1997.''

    CNA EC/AP/MM/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1620:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] US not keen to provide security guarantees

    Nicosia, Jan 24 (CNA) -- The United States is not in the business of providing security guarantees to third countries outside formal alliances, US Ambassador to Cyprus, Kenneth Brill, said here today.

    Speaking to the press after a routine meeting with President Glafcos Clerides, Brill said the Cypriot government had not seriously proposed the idea to the US of a security guarantee for Cyprus against the use of military force by Turkey on the island.

    ''That's not something we do traditionally and I don't see it happening now,'' Brill said.

    The ambassador added the US is keen on getting the settlement process going, but the requisite step to this is to reshift the focus from the military aspects of the Cyprus problem to its political ones.

    ''This is fundamentally a political problem. It cannot be solved militarily, it cannot be solved by legalisms. It's a political issue that needs to be resolved politically and that means negotiations,'' Brill noted.

    So that momentum towards a solution is reinvigorated, Brill said it is more fruitful for the US to help in the actual settlement process, rather than putting out the fires that may arise out of heightened tensions in the region.

    ''We prefer to be focused and active in the positive agenda of promoting a settlement. We have to get tensions out of the way before we can do that,'' Brill said, adding however, that the US cannot want things to change in Cyprus more than the people on the island.

    Regarding Cyprus's decision to purchase the Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missiles, the American ambassador said his government never questioned the legal rights of the Cypriot government to purchase them.

    ''The question you have to ask yourself,'' Brill said, ''is: is it wise, does it advance you towards your goal? In our view, it takes us in the opposite direction and we think events in recent weeks have shown us this to be the case.''

    The US ambassador also said his government is in touch with all interested parties in the Cyprus issue, including Britain.

    CNA MH/MM/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1800:CYPPRESS:04

    [04] Cyprus-Greece sign Public Administration protocol

    Nicosia, Jan 24 (CNA) -- Cyprus and Greece signed here today a cooperation protocol to help upgrade and boost the Public Administration sector.

    The protocol was signed by Finance Minister Christodoulos Christodoulou and Greece's Interior, Public Administration and Decentralisation Minister Alecos Papadopoulos.

    ''The protocol is not simply a routine matter, but it bears a substantial significance, especially for Cyprus,'' Papadopoulos, currently visiting Cyprus, said.

    He announced that a joint committee will be set up to monitor the implementation of this protocol. It will meet twice a year in Greece and Cyprus.

    Christodoulou explained that cooperation will be through three-year programmes in restructuring the civil service, training, research and the exchange of information and expertise in vital sectors concerning Public Administration.

    ''We hope to be able to share these programmes with neighbouring countries,'' he added.

    CNA MM/GP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1920:CYPPRESS:05

    [05] Britain's Labour argues for direct talks, rotating presidency

    Nicosia, Jan 24 (CNA) -- British Shadow Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook, backed the idea of a rotating presidency as part of a settlement in Cyprus, and said that direct negotiations should start without preconditions.

    Speaking at a press conference after two-days of talks with the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides, the British Labour MP outlined a number of points on which, as he said, the international community should base a Cyprus settlement.

    ''Cyprus should be restored as a single sovereign state with a single international personality,'' Cook said, noting that a constitutional settlement should be founded on the principle of political equality of the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities and ''at the same time embody democratic principles.''

    Elections to a Lower House on the basis of population would guarantee the democratic principles, Cook said, adding that ''political equality will then be respected by an Upper House which will be based on equal division between the two communities.''

    The two principles of equality and democracy will be brought together, the Labour MP claimed, by rotating presidency, which ''could be achieved by the communities taking it in turns to nominate candidates.''

    Cook, argued that a rotating presidency ''could be a unifying force because it would require candidates from either community to seek support from the other community.''

    Stressing the need for reconciliation, Cook pointed out that a lot of hard work is required for the security needs of both sides on the island.

    ''Any settlement should be accompanied by measures to reduce military confrontation and should lead to a substantial reduction in the militarisation of the island,'' Cook said, adding that ''international guarantees of security should be negotiated on terms that are acceptable to both communities to build confidence between them.''

    Commenting on the reactions of the two sides to his proposals, the Labour MP said he understood the Cyprus government ''are willing to negotiate'' and said Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash ''appeared interested in them.''

    ''These are proposals which they can usefully debate and in which they are both interested,'' he said.

    He expressed concern about the absence of face to face negotiations, and noted that common ground, which he described as ''a very loaded term'', should not be a precondition for direct negotiations.

    ''I do not think that it is helpful to set preconditions for talks. I verily believe that face to face negotiations should start,'' he said, noting that ''there is a degree of convergence'' on many points to form ''sufficient basis for negotiations.''

    What is important, he said, ''is to know where we are going with these negotiations rather than insisting upon the starting point.''

    The British Shadow Foreign Secretary also pointed out that Cyprus' accession course to the European Union (EU) will be very difficult if a Cyprus settlement is not reached.

    ''We have said that the entry of Cyprus should not be upon the precondition of a settlement, but I have to be frank with you and the Cyprus government understands this. It will be very difficult to achieve a successful accession unless there is a settlement,'' he said, noting at the same time, that the Turkish Cypriots should realise the benefits of both a settlement and entry to the EU.

    Commenting on the British military bases on the island, Cook stressed they ''are and remain British sovereign territory,'' adding that in the discussions he had ''no political leader has raised any questions about the future of the sovereign bases.''

    He did however refrain from taking a position on the destruction caused by British military exercises on the environment in Cyprus.

    ''I have not had the opportunity to visit the site (Akamas peninsula) and therefore it would be wrong for me to express an opinion,'' he said.

    Advocating ''great respect for the environment'', Cook also backed ''effective military training.''

    CNA MCH/MM/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

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